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Learning about the life insurance buying process focuses your attention on what’s important. That moves you to your goal of buying life insurance more quickly.
First things first: remember why you are buying insurance. You have dependents who need your income replaced if you die. Shopping around for quotes is an excellent way to save on a necessity. Pricing may vary up to 50 percent from one carrier to another.
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Getting quotes is actually very easy. You fill in basic information such as your address, name, height, weight, and bingo, you will receive back many quotes. The challenging parts include:
Evaluating the insurers’ creditworthiness, or ability to pay out claims.
- Deciding the kind of life insurance and how much you need to buy.
- Enduring the medical tests and a multitude of questionnaires for your personal medical history, hobbies, and habits.
- Get quotes first. They are free and easy. It tells you what carriers are offering up coverage and gives you a solid starting point.
- Check creditworthiness of every insurance company that offers up a quote. Moody’s, A.M. Best, Weiss Ratings, and Fitch Ratings provide such a service. In general, they offer up grades to distinguish fiscally solvent companies from near-bankrupt ones. Anything with an A or better rating will work.
- Review your file with the Medical Information Bureau for accuracy. That’s where the insurers will turn to evaluate your medical history.
- Fill out all questionnaires honestly.
- The insurers will call to schedule medical tests and get a medical history.
- The underwriting department at each insurance company reviews all of your information to determine your policy premiums.
Advice for People Leery of Checkups
No one likes going to the doctor. Add a medical checkup to shopping for life insurance and it makes it even more tempting to forgo coverage. The insurers will send out a paramedical or other licensed healthcare professional.
They are going to ask about your own medical history and that of your parents’ and siblings’. They want to find out what ailments have plagued your family and to what you may also be susceptible.
It is nothing personal. It will not get you in trouble.
The underwriters need the information to come up with a policy premium, if they want to offer you a policy.
Tell the truth. For example, if you smoke cigarettes, the nicotine will show up in your blood tests. Lying about tobacco use may prohibit you from being offered a policy. However, smoking cigarettes will probably not deny you life insurance coverage.
Same for recreational drug use. The insurance carrier is checking for drug use. Though, they may deny you coverage. Just keep remembering why you are applying for a life insurance policy. It is to provide financial stability to your family if you die.
Basic Type of Questions:
- What prescription drugs do you take?
- What surgeries have you had?
- What chronic medical conditions do you have?
- What mental health conditions do you have?
- How often and how much alcohol do you drink?
- What, if any recreational drugs do you use?
- How often and how long do you exercise?
- Do you fly airplanes or do other dangerous activities for work or as hobbies?
Medical tests you might have to undergo for the policy depend upon your age and the type of policy you are applying.
- Blood Pressure Reading
- Urine Sample
- Blood Test
- Treadmill Test
- Chest X-Ray
When the Underwriters Get Their Hands on Your Records
The insurance underwriter’s job is to determine the likelihood you will die while under the policy term. If it is a high probability you will, then you may be offered a policy with a higher premium.
After all, if the insurance carrier pays out say 250,000 dollars for your death benefit and only receives 1,000 dollars in premium, they are losing money.
Morbid, but that is the insurance business’s way of operating.
Your insurer may not take your word for it, as far as your health history goes. They may, with your sign-off, request medical records from your doctors.
You might not have thought of this, but your driving record gives a good indication of reckless, negligent, or safe behavior. They will probably pull your driver’s record too.
Methods to Reduce Life Insurance Premiums
- Quit smoking
- Quit or reduce alcohol intake
- Lose weight
- Adopt healthier eating and exercise habits that reduce reliance on cholesterol drugs and reduce blood glucose levels
- Drive safely and take a safe driving class to prove your commitment to responsible behavior and habits.
Sometimes as hard as you try you cannot wish away alcohol dependency, anxiety, depression, drug addiction, diabetes, heart conditions, and even HIV. There are life insurance policies for people with pre-existing conditions.
It will be a more involved process, which includes more specific questions about your specific conditions, stage of disease, and ability to treat it.Definitely do not write yourself off for being an individual who faces your own mortality more often than the general population.
There is a reason that people buy life insurance. To have protection for their dependents. That is what you need, after all.
Consider More Options
If you already have a policy you may be able to purchase additional insurance riders to suit your changing needs.
For instance, you might purchase an accelerated death benefit rider, which would pay out benefits to a terminally ill policy holder.
Many consumers are opting for a long-term care rider on their life insurance policy to pay for long term care, assisted living, in-home nursing care, and related expenses.
The idea of life insurance is to pay for your dependents who are left behind. Beyond that, you may find products, purchased as riders, which serve you if you are given a terminal diagnosis, or need long-term care.
Talk to an insurance agent you trust to find out what types of bells and whistles serve your unique needs best.
Be sure to compare rates using the FREE search tool below!